NAVI MUMBAI: The name of mayoral candidate will be officially announced by Ganesh Naik in the next couple of days, while four names are emerging from Congress for the post of deputy mayor — Mandakini Mhatre, Avinash Lad, Hemangi Sonawane and Vaijayanti Bhagat.
Sudhakar Sonawane, the NCP-backed independent corporator, is expected to be the next mayor, for which an official announcement is awaited but Ghansoli corporator Nivruti Jagtap is still in the race.
“We are not in a hurry to disclose the candidate selected for the mayor’s post, as May 9 is far off. We have ample time to discuss this issue, since Congress will be deciding the deputy mayor. A decision will be made public in the next two days,” said Ganesh Naik.
Besides keeping the mayoral post for two terms of two-and-a-half year each, NCP reserves the right to hold the NMMC treasury and standing committee chairperson’s post for the five years. According to the NCP-Congress alliance deal, two corporators from Congress will be deputy mayors for the tenure of two-and-half-years each and the remaining eight corporators will be accommodated as ward committee heads.
Interestingly, the name of three-time corporator Avinash Lad from Vashi was doing rounds for deputy mayor’s post till Monday. But three more names have been added to the list on Tuesday.
First time corporator Mandakini Mhatre is the wife of former deputy mayor Ramakant Mhatre, who is said to be close to state Congress president Ashok Chavan whereas Vaijayanti Bhagat is wife of city Congress president Dashrath Bhagat. Hemangi Sonawane from Airoli is a second time corporator.
Dashrath Bhagat told TOI that four corporators are staking their claim for deputy mayor’s post. “The picture will be clearer in a day or two, as the party higher-ups have a final say on their fate,” he added.
Congress has nine women corporators in the new house while Lad is the only male elected representative.